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Belfast City Council Chief Wins Top Business Award

The sixth annual Women in Business Awards saw Suzanne Wylie, chief executive of Belfast City Council, scoop the highly coveted Outstanding Business Woman of the Year Award, sponsored by Alexander Mann Solutions.

Speaking of her win, Suzanne said; “I am particularly pleased as someone who has worked in the public sector all of my career to receive this award.

“It is recognition that Belfast City Council, its elected members and staff are having a growing influence in progressing the city’s economy through physical development, attracting investment and supporting the creation of job opportunities.

“Winning such a prestigious award is very encouraging - we intend to continue to work in partnership with communities, the private sector and all levels of government to ensure that Belfast continues its renaissance and re-establishes itself as one of the world’s great cities.“

Thirteen other trophies were handed out on a night of glitz, glamour and high entertainment as more than 400 from the local business community gathered at the Ramada Plaza, Belfast on Thursday evening for what has become the defining event for female entrepreneurs and women-led businesses across Northern Ireland.

Since taking up the post of chief executive of Belfast City Council in July 2014, Suzanne has steered the Council through Local Government Reform, the most significant change the organisation and the sector has experienced in decades.

In winning the top Award of the night, Suzanne was recognised by the judging panel to be a dominant face in the public sector, leading one of our largest public bodies with great aplomb and success.

Commenting on the winners, Women in Business chief executive Roseann Kelly said; “They are all women with vision and determination, qualities that have contributed to their success. Some lead businesses that are household names, others will achieve that recognition in the future. All are joined by a common goal to succeed and to inspire.”

Ms Kelly added that The Ramada Plaza was teeming with inspirational women, not least special guest speakers, former Tanaiste Mary Harney, and founder of one of the world’s leading provider of talent acquisition and management services, Rosaleen Blair.

“They are such fantastic role models not just for females in business but the business community as a whole.

“Indeed, everyone in the room tonight should be proud of the role they play and contribution they make to our economy.

“The Awards are all about shining a light on achievements – big and small - and encouraging the next generation of female business women to be just as inspired and successful.”

The judging panel for this year’s Awards included Imelda McMillan (chair, Women in Business); Ellvena Graham (chair, NI Economic Advisory Group); Evelyn Collins (chief executive, Equality Commission for NI); Hester Larkin (Global Client Partner, Alexander Mann Solutions; Roseann Kelly (chief executive, Women in Business); and Gary McDonald (Irish News business editor).

The winners of the 2016 Women in Business Awards in association with Alexander Mann Solutions were:

Advancing Diversity in the Workplace (sponsored by Equality Commission): Sharon Martin, Terex GB

Best Customer Service – corporate (sponsored by Diamond Recruitment); Sinead McCann, Corick House Hotel and Spa

Best Customer Service - small business (sponsored by Diamond Recruitment); Sarah Mackie, Larchfield Estate

Best Exporter (sponsored by QA Travel): Sinead Murphy, Shnuggle

Best in Professional Services – corporate (sponsored by The Progressive): Sinead Dillon, Fujitsu

Best in Professional Services - small business (sponsored by The Progressive): Jayne Taggart, Causeway Enterprise Agency

Best Marketing Campaign (sponsored by Pierce Communications): Zoë McCullough, Suki Tea

Best New Start-Up (sponsored by Go for It): Niamh Taylor, Digital Twenty Four

Best Small Business (sponsored by Danske Bank): Alicia Peyrano, Little Citizens Boutique

Excellence in IT (sponsored by The Irish News): Sue McLaughlin, Bluebird Care Coleraine

Outstanding Innovation: Kerry Nevins, Babocush

Outstanding Leadership & Management (sponsored by Belfast City Council): Ursula Lavery, Moy Park

Young Business Woman of the Year (sponsored by Department for the Economy): Yolanda Cooper, Vita Liberata

Outstanding Business Woman of the Year (sponsored by Alexander Mann Solutions): Suzanne Wylie, Belfast City Council

Photo Caption: '2016 Women in Business Outstanding Business Woman of the Year' Suzanne Wylie, chief executive of Belfast City Council

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